Handover of Emergency Operations Center in Ebeye: A Milestone in Disaster Preparedness and Response

April 8, 2024

Ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the handover of the Emergency Operations Center in Ebeye.

Photo: UNDP

Ebeye, Republic of the Marshall Islands – A significant milestone in disaster preparedness and response capacities for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has been achieved with the official handover of the country’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Ebeye.

The ceremony, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Secretary and Kwajalein Atoll Development Agency (KADA), was attended by esteemed dignitaries, government representatives and traditional leaders, underscoring the collaborative efforts invested in strengthening resilience against emergencies and natural disasters.

Constructed from 2022, this two-story, 2,907-square-foot building worth US$2,205,679 is part of the Japan-funded project Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience in the Republic of the Marshall Islands through improved Disaster Preparedness and Infrastructure (EDCR RMI Project), which aims to improve the capacity for preparedness and mitigation of RMI to man-made, geo-physical and climate-related hazards and to climate change impact.  

It is intended for relevant groups, offices, and official visitors for efficient coordination of emergency responses in Kwajalein and neighboring atolls. The EOC also serves as space for Kwajalein Atolls Disaster Committee members and the Office of the Chief Secretary in Ebeye to coordinate, collect relevant information and make critical decisions for effective disaster response.

In his opening remarks, His Excellency Tanaka Kazunari, Ambassador of Japan to the RMI expressed his sincere gratitude for the long-term commitment and dedication of stakeholders not only in the construction of the EOC, but also all the activities under EDCR.

“We are truly happy to work with the Government of the RMI in continuing its efforts for the well-being of the people and the development of its country, and we hope to continue this friendship for many years to come,” he said.

During his address, Deputy Resident Representative and Country Manager for the UNDP Pacific Office in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kevin Petrini, expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Japan for their support, and the Government of the RMI for their unwavering commitment in achieving EDCR’s shared goals:

“We are very fortunate to have collaborated with donors, partners and stakeholders who are committed towards achieving a climate-resilient future for the people of Ebeye and the wider RMI, and recognize that in order to do so, we need to put the people at the heart of our efforts.” 


The Honorable Bremity Lakjohn, Minister in Assistance to the President, highlighted in his speech the relevance of the EOC in Ebeye.  

“Not only does this EOC stands as a space for efficient coordination of disaster preparedness and response, but this also creates opportunity for the people,” he said.

Among the distinguished guests were:  Hon. Brenson Wase, Speaker of Nitijela, Hon. Wesley Zackhras, Minister of Justice, Senator Kitlang Kabua, Senator Daisy Momotaro, Senator Jack Ading,, Iroojlaplap Michael Lamanini Kabua  Councilman Terry Lotok on behalf of Mayor Hirata Kabua,  Acting  Chief Secretary Catalino Kijiner, Ms. Isabela Silk, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, First Secretary of the Japan Embassy, Mr. Noriyuki Nakamura, U.S. Army Garrison – Kwajalein Atoll Command Sergeant Major Ernest E. Miller, Major Daekwang Choi and Protocol Officer Barbara Davis.

The event also celebrated the christening of a water truck to Ebeye, which carries a 10kl-tank for the Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utility Resources to secure water resources during droughts or disrupted water supply. Similarly, the project supplied one 40kl and one 10kl-water trucks to Majuro Water and Sewage Company, these items being very much needed with the RMI currently experiencing extreme water stress.

The UNDP EDCR project, since its commencement in 2019, aims to strengthen gender sensitive disaster communication and climate monitoring systems, and enhance gender sensitive national and state disaster responder’s readiness capacity and better resourced to minimize loss of lives and damages.

For more information, please contact:  

Teresa White, Finance and Administrative Officer, Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience in the Republic of the Marshall Islands Project, UNDP Office in RMI, Tel: +(692) 455 8147, Email: teresa.white@undp.org